In a joint announcement, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have validated that the average global temperature on land and the oceans’ surface reached an all-time high in 2023. The confirmed data, released on Friday, indicates a significant rise, emphasizing the escalating threat of climate change.
According to NOAA records, the average temperature in 2023 was 58.96 degrees Fahrenheit, marking a staggering 2.12-degree increase compared to the global average of the 20th century. This surpasses the previous record set in 2016 by 0.27 degrees, underscoring the alarming pace at which the planet is warming.
NOAA Chief Scientist Sarah Kapnick expressed her astonishment, describing 2023 as “an extraordinarily warm year that produced many costly climate-driven weather events here in the United States and worldwide.” The findings highlight the immediate and tangible impacts of climate change on a global scale.
To determine the global temperature, scientists aggregate thousands of temperature recordings, accounting for missing data in certain regions. Despite uncertainties inherent in these measurements, NASA’s Gavin Schmidt emphasized that the overall conclusion remains unchanged. “None of those uncertainties are large enough to change the bottom line of what we’re talking about. We’re looking at this and we’re, frankly, astonished,” he stated.
The announcement from NASA and NOAA follows closely on the heels of the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, which also declared 2023 as the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2016.
Looking ahead, NOAA officials project a 33% chance that 2024 will be warmer than 2023, with a 99% probability that it will rank among the five warmest years to date. The gravity of these statistics underscores the urgent need for global action to mitigate and adapt to the unfolding climate crisis.
As the scientific community emphasizes the severity of climate change, it is imperative for nations and communities to unite in implementing sustainable practices and policies to address this unprecedented global challenge.